Black People Hate Each Other

There is nothing on this planet quite like a Black man. My father served as my first example of their resiliency in the face of adversity, their remarkable ability to exude warmth despite experiencing so much coldness from the outside world and the drive to succeed while playing with a hand of cards that would have made most give up and surrender themselves to a world that seemed hellbent on keeping them down. My dad is just one example of Black men who shatter the stereotypes that Black men are lazy thugs who do not take care of their hoard of illegitimate children, and for that I am remarkably proud of him. In a world where Black men and women are undervalued and
underrepresented, it is important that we uplift each other, yet the division between Black men and women is quite astounding and deeply saddening. Of course men and women collectively have struggled with relating to each other and finding common ground on issues such as equality, but when you live in a patriarchal society that is nothing beyond the norm. The issues within the Black community go much deeper than your old everyday “men are dogs” rhetoric. What happened between us that caused such a divide? Scroll through social media and you will see a plethora of harsh comments from Black men regarding Black women, Black women stating how they don’t need a man and how n*ggas ain’t sh*t and both sides recalling instances of how not having a father in their lives has affected them.

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Slavery: The Side Effects

Whether or not people want to believe it, slavery still has long standing effects on its descendants. In the scope of human existence, 200 years post slavery is merely a drop in the bucket of time. In fact, it is so recent that you could likely track down the owner of your great great great grandparents. So what does this have to do with the division between Black men and women? Everything. During slavery, it was key for slave owners to dismantle any type of unity between slaves. Slave marriages were not legally recognized and married slaves were always reminded that at the end of the day, they were both property of their master. Rape was a common method used to exercise this power, and the Black man was powerless to come to the aid of his wife, no matter how angry or provoked he felt. This created a resentment in the Black woman, as she had to live knowing that the man she bore children for and loved was powerless to protect her. On the other hand, the Black man had to carry the shame that he could not save his wife from being a victim, while also struggling with the fact that she had been with another man, regardless of the lack of consent on her part. It did not matter that this was just a consequence of the time period; a human being is going to feel the emotions appropriate for the circumstances. 7eb0f0eb2cca50cc2f872a5f0fde2f37The lack of rights for a slave did not make either party feel better just because that was the way things were. A husband and father are protectors, and having to witness your warrior powerless against your attacker will create a lack of trust, be it consciously or subconsciously. He could not shield his wife from being a victim, he could not prevent his children from being sold.  Aside from the violent nature of rape,  during and after slavery, Black men and women were not typically attracted to each other. Black women were (and often even now) portrayed as the “mammy”, overweight and in a position of subservience, usually around to clean up after White people and nurse their children. The Black man, on the other hand, was emasculated on a daily basis; how was he to respect himself or command respect from others? Not only was his manhood diminished, but he was also put into the role of the jester, the ‘schuckin and jivin’ minstrel. Of course there was still love among slaves, but is it unreasonable to presume that the level of respect and attraction was low? Slavery has had a significant impact on black love, and the black family has suffered because of it.

Family Feud

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Fast forward to now, and it is easy to see the continued discord between the Black man and woman. It is almost like we are socialized to not be together. Have relations improved much 200 years post slavery? I would have to say no. I could open any of my social media timelines right now and see an overabundance of disrespectful comments from Black men pertaining to Black women. The negativity spans across hair texture, skin complexion, attitudes, child support spite, parenting, body type, the list is endless. Black women express disdain for the Black man as well, but not at the concerning rates that Black men do. Lack of ambition and the absence of having the Black woman’s back are the main complaints; quite honestly the rest of the dialogue can be applied to any man. Brothas are extremely misogynistic towards sistas, and rap music has been a long time contributor to this issue. When our Black men grow up listening to “Bitches ain’t sh*t but hoes and tricks / Lick on these nuts and suck the d*ck,” why are we surprised when they lack respect for Black women? The number of male role models in the Black community are slim, so the rappers became the role models. Young Black women who were exposed to this type of music at a young age became desensitized to it; disrespect towards women became normalized for some in the Black community. Just because you are a fan of rap, however, does not mean you go out and disrespect women or tolerate disrespect but it is who-needs-black-girls-anymore-i-aint-say-it-i-6624607important to realize that the entertainment industry does have an effect on how we view each other. Each day I witness Black men and women at war with each other, and I always find it so interesting that I do not see other races putting each other down at such alarming rates, or at all. Never have I seen any of my White, Hispanic or Asian social media followers say their own women are trash, their men are deadbeats or put them down while uplifting another race. Is there anything wrong with dating outside your ethnic group? Absolutely not. What is wrong is condemning your people in the process. I have always found it astonishing that many of the qualities Black men shame Black women for, they also possess: darker skin, coarse hair, animated personalities, etc. It is definitely worth assuming that there is some self-hate stirring around within them that needs to be sorted out. Disassociating yourself from your own blackness will not make you less Black. If you hate yourself, you will want to distance yourself from anything that reminds you of the thing you are running from. The divide and conquer tactics used during slavery are still working. Black families in America have the highest rate of single parent households due to factors such as mass incarcerations and poverty, creating further resentment between the Black man and woman. Just like during slavery, many fathers were not present. Whether it be by choice or force, the consequences remain the same. There is a lack of trust between Black people that other races do not experience, because they did not face the trauma of slavery and Jim Crow. Willie Lynch’s method to control slaves was to spread fear, envy and distrust between them, and it is blatantly obvious that these tactics have been tattooed on the psyche of Black people. Fortunately, I have been noticing a slow but steady spread of unity within the Black community.

Spread The Love

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Thanks to social media, I have been noticing a lot more positivity spreading between Black people. This is not to say that there has been a lack of Black unity altogether, but I attribute the increase to the alarming rate in which Black men and women are being targeted and killed by police, and to some extent, our collective disdain for Trump. Regardless of the reason, it is refreshing and beautiful to witness. It is very important that we hold ourselves accountable for perpetuating the hate we experience from the outside world upon each other. I frequently see Black women (and men, however, to a lesser extent) on social media call out other Black people who spread false narratives regarding our people and who also perpetuate stereotypes. It is vital that we educate each other about the tactics that were put in place to ensure we never unify or view each other in a positive light. After all, by continuing to remain spiteful towards each other, the vision racist America had for us since we were brought here on slave ships remains successful. Sure, we have accomplished great things as a people and have conquered monumental obstacles, but our interpersonal bonds must be strengthened. 9b01c1750a0102e6f63f3e2cfd6d40a6Black people have to separate ourselves from the image the media has constructed. Black men are more than rappers, athletes, and criminals. Black women do more than have babies out of wedlock, twerk, and have attitudes with anyone who crosses their path. Our accomplishments are always seen with an asterisk by them, and we participate in the practice of not supporting each other. This can change! Support the ventures of your friends, encourage our kids to pursue their dreams, even if they are not the most practical. Until we let go of the mental chains of slavery, we will remain limited, our full potential imprisoned. The lack of trust between Black men and women needs to be repaired, as it is on life support and has been for quite some time. We are in need of open and honest dialogue, free from any spite or negativity. Communication heals, and it is time we begin this process. Our future generations will thanks us!

 

 

What’s Your Body Count?


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I have such a love/hate relationship with Black Twitter. It’s free entertainment and endless jokes. I am often amazed at the creativity and comedic prowess that our counterparts possess. As with anything, though, there are two sides to every coin. While I hate to love the intriguing, brash sense of humor of the Twitteverse, there are often sexist and misogynistic undertones that consistently grace our timelines. One of Black Twitter’s favorite topics and debates: How many people have you had sex with, also known as the body count subject. Similar to the controversial topics of $200 dates and “should you make your man’s plate?”, the body count debacle seems to cross my timeline a few times a month. Every now and then I will throw in my 2 cents, but most of the time I sit back at the round table and observe the same old arguments on how many bodies its normal for a man to have at a certain age vs. how many bodies makes a woman a “hoe” by a certain age. All the same cliche stereotypes and gender biased views that seem to never really get old. I assume we keep recycling the same topics because like in any debate or argument, one side will try to sway the other to agree with their point of view. Mostly its a male vs. female debate, although every now and then you will see a sprinkle of agreeableness between the two sides. I find it quite problematic that in 2017 we are still going back and forth on this. Old habits die hard, or in this case, old sexist ideologies. 

Be Free, But Not Too Free

The male viewpoint of the body count debate is obviously a direct representation of the majority of males in everyday life. I am sure it isn’t too difficult to figure out their stance on the matter. The quantity of men a woman has slept with is a direct correlation to her level of hoe-ness. The higher the number, the less likely you are to have a man commit to you, the looser your vagina becomes and you apparently command less respect than a woman with only a few notches in her belt. Of course no one is born thinking this way, and our society isn’t the only one who carriers around these sexist beliefs. Women in the Middle East are still getting stoned for adultery. In patriarchal societies, women and men are socialized to believe that proper and respectable women keep their legs closed. Pop culture in America is fueled by sexuality and sexualized images of women, yet a woman who is sexually liberated faces backlash from not only men, but women too. I remember just a few days ago on Twitter, there was conversation stirring regarding a woman  in her 20’s who had 42 men under her belt. tumblr_niv4i5uvmq1tqakyso1_500
 I didn’t delve into it too much to get any context, but this woman’s integrity was questioned. Is 42 a lot? For argument’s sake, let’s say the woman in the above scenario is 27 and has been sexually active for 10 years and single for the majority of this time-span. That’s an average of 4.2 men a year. Does that change the perspective at all? Maybe, maybe not. She caught major shade across the timeline for this confession, though. One guy tweeted that dating a woman with 42 bodies is equivalent to chewing a piece of gum that was previously chewed by 42 other people. Another said that after 42 bodies your soul is already dwelling with Lucifer. Some tweeters erred on the side of minding your own business about who people are hopping into bed with (I second this), and others called men out for their glaring hypocrisy. Regardless of your views on sex and morality, is it reasonable to literally demonize a woman because her lifestyle is not in alignment with your views? 

Pot, Meet Kettle!

I really wish at this point that I could stop referring to double standards when comparing the sex lives of women and men, but double standards fuel sexism. It’s mind boggling that so many don’t realize that continuing to judge women based off how many men they’ve been with makes them sexist. Women who co-sign these beliefs don’t realize they’re contributing to the problem, or maybe they don’t see the problem at all. Who knows? Either way, if it had been a man in his 20’s who admitted to having 42 bodies, no one would have blinked an eye. Most of us would have probably kept scrolling and continued talking about how much of a baby Lebron is being and retweeting Trump jokes. In contrast to tweets about a woman with that many bodies dwelling with Lucifer, I saw people saying they expect a man in his 20’s to already have 40+ bodies, like that is perfectly normal.tumblr_ns2p9pbyi51t1ou0yo1_500 The logic behind it was that women get “entered” while men “enter,” so it is more of an impact on a woman to allow so many men access to her body. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a man you don’t find it necessary to use some discretion when it comes to whom you’re sticking your most cherished body part into? 9/10 of the men who were throwing shade at the woman with 42 bodies would probably still try and get in her panties if given the opportunity, and would happily be Mr. 43. What’s even more funny is that some of them have probably had an escapade or two with a woman way north of #42 and had no idea. So many men love to play the “I may f*ck her, but I would never wife her” card, but you don’t see them throwing their playa cards away for Tina Two Bodies either. The number of people you get naked with is not a testament to your character, per se. Of course there are men and women who use sex as a coping mechanism or for other reasons that aren’t good for the soul, however that’s a subject for a different day. A woman should be able to be as sexually active as she wishes to be without facing slander and backlash from people who ultimately need to mind their own business.

It’s Just Sex, Not Love

Evidently, it is a foreign concept that women are capable to have sex with a man without developing romantic feelings or attachments. For some women this may be true, but for many it isn’t. Yes, there are a plethora of scenarios where a woman states she isn’t looking for anything but fun, then turns around a month later asking “what are we?” Don’t let this fool you into thinking that every woman who is willing to get it poppin’ with you also wants to put a ring on it. Just like men, we treat those we are only sexually attracted to differently than those we see as potential mates. Men who still have 19th century mindsets get shook by this rationale; they don’t know how to contend with a woman who steps outside of the little chastity box that the world has created for her. Men are privileged of course, and by women remaining subservient and dependent on them, their authority is not challenged. No privileged group wants a level playing field, because it’s fun to stomp on the little guy!tumblr_oamyb8qhjs1uaedmbo3_400 Besides, if men couldn’t call women hoes, what else would they do with their time? That was a joke of course, but society as a whole needs to realize that a woman’s sex life is none of anyone else’s concern and no one has the right to dictate what is appropriate behavior for the next person. If it works for them, why are you bothered by it? Everyone was raised differently and we’ve traveled different paths. There isn’t a one size fits all manual to life that works for everyone. As long as we are all being safe, what’s the big deal? Everyone is entitled to live a life that fits their own moral compass and nothing is wrong with having your own opinion. However, there is a such thing as an opinion that lacks substance and does more harm than good, so keep those to yourself. I have seen men imply numerous times that they are entitled to sex from a woman who gives it up to everyone, and that “hoes” don’t have the right to turn down a man because her vagina is an equal opportunity employer. How stupid is that?! Not only stupid, but absurdly disrespectful.  Just because a woman has an active sex life does not mean she’s obligated to drop the panties for anyone who decides they want a turn; just because a woman decides to lie down with you does not mean she’s planning a wedding in her head with you. It is always blissfully refreshing to see men who have transcended above the small thinking of labeling women. I know men who argue more for the rights of women than plenty of females I know of. Perhaps there is still hope for us yet! After all, it’s not wise to throw stones when you, too, live in a glass house. I prefer to mind my own business, and whether or not someone else is leading a more conservative or liberal sex life has nothing to do with me.

We’re All A Little “Insecure”

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SPOILER ALERT: If you are not yet caught up on the show or have not started it yet, this post contains spoilers. Everyone else, please continue 🙂


Insecure has captivated me. The release of this show just further reminded me how absent authentic Black characters are from mainstream television. It is a breath of fresh air from all of the reality shows depicting petty drama, forcing us to watch 20 year old reruns of Martin just for a little comedy. Issa Rae only served us 8 episodes of Insecure so far (thankfully, we’re getting a season 2), but she managed to develop very complex and multi-dimensional characters in such a short season. 8 episodes, 30 minutes each, and I easily feel like I thoroughly know them all. Each of the main characters are relatable in some way, and most of us have been either Issa, Molly or Lawrence at some point in our lives. One of the main themes in the show is the relationship between Issa and Lawrence. The show begins and it is the morning of her 29th birthday. While she was on Facebook looking over her “happy birthday” posts, she gets a message from a guy named Daniel wishing her a happy birthday and her face lights up like a Christmas tree. I had not yet noticed Lawrence lying in bed behind her, sound asleep. Without knowing it, we are almost immediately introduced to the temptation she will face for almost the entire season. Her lack of fulfillment is obvious. tumblr_of6io5hbnm1swms2fo4_400She often complains to her best friend Molly about how boring their relationship is and how she is exhausted from carrying the emotional and financial weight of it all. Lawrence is out of work after his app failed, and mostly sits around the house in dingy sweatpants complaining about his bad luck with interviewing. To add to Issa’s growing resentment of him, he forgets her birthday. After 5 years and no growth as a couple, she was basically over it. If you want to create a perfect recipe to push your woman to the next D, do all of the things that Lawrence was doing. Unlike men, the majority of women who may have cheated did not do so just for sh*ts and giggles. There is no thrill of the chase, no sliding in DM’s just because its Monday. Emotional needs aren’t being met. Justifying cheating is not what I’m trying to do; I’m talking about causation, not morals. How well did Issa communicate her needs and concerns to Lawrence? Not very well. She had numerous opportunities to elaborate on what she told him the night she and Molly went to the open mic. You really can’t tell someone how you don’t intend to spend the rest of your life sitting on the couch with them, leave for 2 days then come home acting like that whole conversation never happened in a matter of hours. By this point, Issa’s main concern is Issa. She has vowed to begin giving zero f*cks and to start killing it at work. She did not have much concern for strengthening her relationship, but realizes she still loves Lawrence nonetheless, so she continues going through the motions of it all. After Issa and Daniel had their almost hookup after the open mic, I figured he was pretty much out of the picture. He was completely thrown off by the word “relationship” coming out of her mouth, so I thought that was a wrap. I should  have known better, considering they chose to bring up how Issa has always had a weakness for him. Although Issa was vulnerable to cheating due to the fragile state of her relationship, I also do not fully believe she would have turned Daniel down, regardless of how things were with Lawrence. The one that got away is now back in your life and showing interest in you. You have shared history to pull from, allowing you to reconnect, and it would just feel right. She subconsciously placed herself in a compromising position, and the cheating commenced. 

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Issa wasn’t the only one in the relationship faced with temptation. While she was ignoring Lawrence and complaining about his lack of a job, the bank teller Tasha was uplifting him at every turn. Pretty face, bubbling personality and boobs to die for were there waiting for him every time he went to deposit his unemployment check. She joined him for lunch, and came to his job at Best Buy showing him how good she looks when she isn’t dressed in her work clothes. Tasha was putting herself out there with no shame. No matter when or where they were interacting, Lawrence never once acted inappropriately. It was more than obvious that Tasha had an interest in him, yet he politely told her he had a girlfriend. Major respect for Lawrence. Despite his flaws, he was 100% committed to Issa. He was too comfortable in their way of life to realize that the relationship was densely clouded with communication issues. He was genuinely taken aback when Issa essentially told him that he was boring and that their relationship was boring as well. tumblr_oh0w6502ys1rxovx9o1_400She did not do him any favors by waiting until she was fed up to express any concerns. He never noticed anything to be wrong, but sometimes we cannot see past our own set of problems. Lawrence was feeling extremely discouraged after his app failed and continuously passed over for jobs after several interviews. He was watching his friends’ careers take off while he was living off unemployment checks and his dwindling savings account. As a man, his ego had taken several L’s. No one wants to fail. No man wants to put himself through college and amass all of this debt just to watch his woman take care of them both. His pride was clearly damaged when he had to go and work at Best Buy. While Issa congratulated him, Tasha from the bank acted as if he had just landed a job at NASA. Her support for Lawrence was unwavering and seemingly unconditional, so it made perfect sense that she would be the one he rebounded with after Issa crushed his soul. I was kind of curious as to when they exchanged numbers, because I would have thought that to be a very important interaction. 

Was Lawrence Wrong?

Twitter has had a very interesting reaction to the finale of Insecure, and the men and women (not surprisingly) are taking opposite sides. The men are cheering Lawrence on as if this is their version of Lemonade, and many women think he took it too far. As a reminder, while Issa was out of town for Kelli’s birthday, Lawrence calls and tells her he misses her. He wants to talk when she gets back. Issa leaves right away, with Molly eventually deciding to drive her home. She walks in and sees Lawrence’s keys on the counter and you can see the hope spark in her eye. As she walks into the bedroom, it takes a moment for her to register what she is seeing. Lawrence’s pillow is gone and so are all of his items off the nightstand. She looks over to the closet and sees that all of his clothes are gone, except for his Best Buy t-shirt. Strong statement or nah? He essentially left Issa and the old him behind, the Best Buy shirt reminding her that the growth she so desperately wanted from him will not be something she gets to experience. This is my take on Lawrence’s Revenge: he was not wrong for sleeping with Tasha. He was a single man. While him luring Issa home under the premise of having a conversation seemed harsh, I get it. He was hurt, and he knew how much it would hurt her to come home only to have her hopes painfully dashed. It was behavior I did not expect from Lawrence, especially after hearing how unimpressed he seemed hearing about his friends’ profane exploits and thoughts on Black women. By using Tasha as a rebound, he personified the lifestyle his friends were bragging about. Rebounds never work out, and now he has used someone who is genuinely interested in him just to soothe his ego and enact his revenge on Issa. But you know what they say: “hurt people, hurt people.” Lawrence is a perfect example of that.tumblr_ohd2541dd41qm5jggo1_1280 What makes Insecure such a good show is the realness of it all. He did what any man would have done. When it comes to love, sex and infidelity, people rarely take the high road. The double standard men have with cheating is that it is fine as long as they are doing the cheating. If the roles are reversed and they are the one who was cheated on, rarely are men forgiving. They have very fragile egos, and most can’t take that kind of betrayal. What Issa’s tryst with Daniel also showed us is how vilified women are if they ever make a mistake and step out of their relationship. Most of us watch Ghost cheat on Tasha every Sunday on Power, yet he does not face the same backlash. I could name countless examples. Women who cheat often face the ultimate punishment and rarely have any sympathizers. We are faced to wear some type of Scarlet Letter for eternity. For example, the character Judith in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation” was bored in a stagnant relationship and Tyler Perry decided to suddenly turn a nice, sweet woman into a drug using, disrespectful monster who ended up with HIV. The film basically told us that the moral of the story is if you cheat on your husband, the consequences are dire, if not deadly. Unfortunately, double standards are a part of the world we live in, and if Issa ever gets Lawrence back, I doubt he will ever be able to fully forgive her. She hurt him, made him feel like an idiot, and he will probably make her pay for it every chance he gets. Looks like we’ll be waiting an entire year to see what happens next.

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Team Light Skin

col·or·ism

ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

US
  1. prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

Team Light Skin. Team Dark Skin. Light skins are soft. Light skinned girls are evil. Dark skinned girls are tough. Dark skinned men are intimidating. Dark skinned men are winning. Light skins taking all the L’s this year. I don’t like dark skinned girls. Light skinned women are stuck up.”

Ah, all the rhetoric we hear in the Black community regarding the skin tones of our counterparts. In case you didn’t know, colorism is nothing new. Darker skinned slaves were to work in the fields while the lighter skin slaves worked in the big house. Working in the house was considered to be a privilege; no toiling in the elements under the watch of a wrathful overseer. Have you ever read about the horrors house slaves went through as well? Working in such close proximity to your owner was not a walk in the park either. Be that as it may, Black people have been divided on skin color for centuries. During our most tragic period of oppression, this was a key element in keeping slaves from uniting. Find a way to esteem one segment of them over the other, and now you have created resentment. You can’t be strong if you have no unity, meaning you can’t come together to stir up any trouble. The idea that the lighter you are, the better has carried on into present day. Fast forward 200 years, and it is still the same. White people or other races may find darker skinned Black people more intimidating, but it seems as if the bigger issues with skin tones come from inside the Black community. All of the brainwashing has divided us on the very thing we wish to no longer be marginalized for. As I write this I am brought back to 4th grade when two of my good friends told me they didn’t want to be my friend any more because I thought I was “all that” because I am light skinned with long hair. tumblr_o4ep7dycwq1utsvwgo1_500Everything was all good just a day ago, but now I am a villain over things I could not control. They even had the teacher move their desks away from mine. Why would 10 year old girls reject a friend they had fun with daily based off of looks? No child that young should already feel so self-conscious about their skin that they can’t even hold on to an elementary level friendship. Black people as a minority are forced to live in a country where the standard of beauty looks nothing like us. Of course we come in all shades, eye colors, hair colors, etc., but we will never posses the European standard of fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Instead, the Black community desires for someone to look as close to White without actually being White to be considered attractive. Light skin, light eyes, long “good hair.” That’s the recipe. The division in the Black community is staggering. We are divided across gender lines, education, and of course skin color. Outside forces contribute to our lack of unity, but we do much of the damage internally.

Pretty For a Dark Girl

One backhanded compliment that has always made me sick is “Wow, you’re so pretty! What are you mixed with? Oh, you’re not mixed? You’re so pretty to be just Black!” What the hell is that supposed to mean? I forgot that Black women are not supposed to be beautiful. I find our full lips, rich toned skin and thick hair gorgeous. Want to know what’s worse? When another Black person tells a darker Black woman that she’s pretty for a dark skinned girl. So if you took her exact same features and placed them on a lighter canvas, she would look better? The only thing that happens when you tell a dark skinned person they’re pretty for a dark girl is the negative connotations of having dark skin get reinforced. All I hear is “you’re still ugly, just not as ugly as the others.” The beauty of Black people is how diverse we are within our own race. My paternal grandmother is very fair skinned and had red hair. My maternal grandmother was chocolate skinned with thick black hair. Would there be a such thing as beauty if we all looked exactly the same? The media does not help. tumblr_n3fm0yc49w1rdu2lko1_500Usually when you see a Black woman on a commercial she looks mixed or is lighter complexioned. Turn on a music video and the video vixens all have the same look. Light skinned, long weave and voluptuous bodies. Of course this is not always the case, but majority rules. Colorism floods rap lyrics constantly: “I like a long haired, thick red-bone,” “Beautiful black woman, I bet that bitch look better red.” I salute my dark skinned sistas. You have to have thick skin to listen to your own people degrade you, yet still support them nonetheless. As Black people in America, we constantly have to deal with a lack of representation. We’ve had to create our own networks, magazines, carve out a section of Black Twitter, and usually are the only Black faces at our job. We hate it, yet we do it within our own community. So what if we have been conditioned to equate dark skin with aggressiveness and being less attractive? That foolishness has got to stop. Guess what? We are all dark skinned to the police and to the judge. I find it incredibly stupid that we diminish the looks of another Black person just because society has tried to tell us that dark is not valued. You do not have to be light to be attractive, you do not have to be mixed to be beautiful.

Jesse Williams

Unless you live under a rock, you have surely watched or heard about humanitarian/actor Jesse William’s iconic speech at the BET Awards last weekend. In case you missed it, catch a clip of that here. After watching his speech, I felt empowered. I felt understood, and most of all I felt proud. I felt proud to be Black, but I was also proud that he used his moment of recognition to acknowledge us all. It was very moving. But like with everything, people love to rain on the parade. Instead of being supportive, some Black people decided that we only responded with such intrigue to Jesse Williams because he is light skinned with blue eyes. Former NFL player Ochocinco had to write Kendrick Lamar on Twitter to say something to the effect of, he has been saying these things on his albums all along, but no one wanted to listen until a light skinned, pretty boy said something. What a perfect way to shift the focus off of what is really important to petty, dramatic irrelevance. tumblr_o9ev69frkt1qa4l1ko1_540Who cares who says what is important, as long as it is being said? What would have been the complaint if Idris Elba had said it instead of Jesse Williams? He’s dark skinned but he has a British accent, so it doesn’t count? Light skinned people experience racism everyday. I have been followed around in stores. I’ve gone on job interviews where when the interviewer came out and saw she was interviewing a Black woman, her face recoiled. When I first started college, some of the staff couldn’t believe that I wasn’t there on an athletic scholarship. I guess Black people only go to college to dribble or throw a ball around. I was accused of stealing from the mall with my friend when I was 16, and 4 cop cars surrounded us, only to find nothing. What did my light skinned “privilege” do for me on all of those occasions? Nothing. It doesn’t matter how light you are or if your eyes are the color of the sea in the Caribbean, you are going to experience racism. Why try to create a divide between Kendrick and Jesse when we can appreciate them both for trying to open people’s eyes?  The point is to care about the cause. If people were being this petty during the Civil Rights Movement, we would still be sitting in the back of the bus. It’s the message that is important, not necessarily the messenger. It seems like our generation has to make everything a competition and getting credit supersedes solving the problem at hand. I want my student loans eradicated. Would I be salty that they listened to Donald’s solution over Hillary’s? Nope, as long as I’m debt free.

When Preference Turns Into Bashing

When it comes to chicken, I prefer white meat over dark meat. I just think it tastes better. It looks more appetizing and is much juicier. Does that mean I gotta throw shade at dark meat and talk about how I think it tastes less flavorful and how eating chicken thighs annoys me? So many walk the fine line between having a preference and putting something else down. Personally, when it comes to men, I can take them either way; caramel skin or chocolate skin that looks like velvet, it doesn’t matter. Too bad we aren’t all as neutral. I see on Twitter at least once a day men championing light skinned women as if they are the best thing since sliced bread, while demeaning our darker women in the same 140 characters. tumblr_o2a6wpWy3U1slyfcfo1_500We all have a type, but we are also the roots of the same Black tree. In essence, you’re putting yourself and your ancestors down. It’s normal to have a type, you don’t have to be Rae Sremmurd. But why in explaining what you’re attracted to, you have to make it a point to point out something negative regarding your counterpart? Of course we can make jokes within our own community, but sometimes these jokes extend beyond a few laughs. I see so many insensitive jokes toward dark skinned people, the perpetual stereotype of light skinned people being weak, and the defense that everyone is entitled to their own preference which soothes no hurt feelings. As Black women, we hate it when Black men spit on our image in their pursuit of White women and other races. I personally don’t care who wants to date whom, but you don’t have the right to make us feel less than in the process. It’s very normal to fall in love with someone you didn’t originally see as your type, but many just objectify based off of skin tone/color. Do you love the actual person or are you infatuated with their looks? I had a conversation with a man once who said he would only date light skinned mixed Black women or White women because he wanted to have light skinned children. This man said he hated Black women’s nappy hair, but mixed girls have pretty curls and light eyes. I didn’t know he had a degree in genetics or had the ability to design his own children, but what flawed logic to have. He was speaking as if he was swinging his hair in Vidal Sassoon commercials. This man was midnight dark, yet he wanted his future children to look nothing like him. This is what happens when you live in a world where ‘White is Right.’ A certain standard of beauty has been drilled into our heads, and we can’t seem to shake it. We want our lives to matter, yet we throw shade at each other based off looks. Having a hierarchy within our own culture impedes progress. Whether you like light skin, brown skin, purple skin or dark, you can make a choice and still uplift the other. Even if you choose not to uplift us all, that’s fine, just don’t put the rest of us down while doing your thing. I don’t know about you, but I want Black people to be a united front, not divided among lines of color.

 

Why Are You Mad At Me?


We all have our opinions. Depending on the subject, we may even want to add our own 2 cents into the conversation. Well I want to add my 2 cents into why some women feel as if it is their duty to confront the other woman when they find out their boyfriend or husband is cheating. I have been on the receiving end of this, and it gets on my last nerve. It has never escalated to a physical fight (I’m wayyyy too above that) or in person encounter; just texts and/or internet messaging. The badge of a full-fledged side chick has never been a part of my wardrobe, and whenever I was involved with a man who was in a relationship, it was unbeknownst to me. This topic takes me back to high school. Whenever a girl didn’t like me, it was always because her boyfriend did. How is that my fault? HOW SWAY? Is it my fault that you chose a man with wandering eyes? I think not. Anyway, here I am, 7 years post high school graduation and every now and then I will get hit up by some random girl asking me why I am talking to her boyfriend. I don’t want your man, boo boo! I can smell your insecurity through the phone. Last time I checked, I wasn’t in a relationship with you, so who I talk to really isn’t any of your business. So you confronted him as well? Good for you! giphy3You should have if you felt he was acting inappropriately, but leave me out of it. Perhaps I ignite some of your insecurities because since your man is seeking attention from me, I must have something that you don’t have. That’s why you’re mad right? Well guess what? It’s never that deep. Men get bored and they seek out attention from whoever, depending on the timing. Or, maybe you’re just an irrational human being and take everyday conversation to mean something that it’s not. Either way, you should check yourself. Even if I did want your man or was aware of the situation, the beef that develops within your relationship is your problem and yours alone. This mentality does not apply to my family members or friends. I would first of all know their relationship status, and I have no desire to become involved their current or past flames. However, if I don’t know you from Adam, I really don’t care about your relationship. Rude? Maybe, but do I care? Nope! Have you ever considered taking some responsibility for the man you chose? If you had taken more time to learn his character you could have identified those traits that would suggest infidelity. Even though you dropped the ball, no, it is still not acceptable for him to cheat or act inappropriately. But people also shouldn’t cut you off in traffic or not say ‘thank you’ when you hold the door open for them. You can’t control others, but you can control how you choose to respond to the situation. I know that being petty is trendy now, but your pettiness might get your feelings hurt. I am not above hurting feelings to maintain my peace of mind. You take a risk every time you decide to get bold and confront someone over some foolishness. How do you know they’re not crazy? Better not risk angering a hornet’s nest. Probably one of the best reasons to take your issue to the source instead of involving people who really aren’t a factor in your problem.


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Why Are You Blaming Me?

So now I just want to get to the nitty gritty of this post. If your man is stepping out, WHY ARE YOU ON MY LINE ABOUT IT?!? I am not in a relationship with the two of you. I don’t owe you any loyalty, and don’t try to throw me any bullsh*t about respecting your relationship. I do not know you, so I do not owe you any respect. If you’re married, then there is a certain level of respect people should have for your relationship, so I am not talking about that, but I have had girls come at me for men who aren’t even their boyfriend. That’s next level pathetic. You are mad at a stranger for not respecting your relationship instead of focusing your anger on the person who agreed to be loyal to you. tumblr_ni1nouOGii1sk4npzo1_500This is like on Maury when the alleged baby father comes onto the stage with his new piece, and the baby mama decides to throw insults at her. Backwards, much? You aren’t going to leave him anyway, because if you were, you would be busy kicking him to the curb instead of trying to beef with the profile picture on my Facebook page. Why expel so much energy just to go back to him tonight? You are going to drive yourself insane trying to police his phone and social media for other women. If a woman likes his most recent photo, why are you making it your business to tell her to leave him alone? Your jealousy is going to get the best of you, and I most likely won’t be all that friendly once you contact me because now I’m annoyed. I am not responsible for the actions of your man, so you are out of line to reach out to me. What is your motive? To get me to stop talking to him? Well you’ve succeeded because no one is worth the drama, but you haven’t really won. Once he realizes I’m over it, he’ll be on to the next. In addition, if it has been nothing but innocent conversation, you’re just pushing him away by acting crazy. Men are going to have female acquaintances, co-workers, classmates, etc and you will be the one miserable in the long run because you’re psychotic. If your dude has been having a full on affair with some chick who had no idea about you, then I’m not blaming you for maybe wanting to get a little insight. This post isn’t about you. This is for the Tommie’s from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta who make it their business to eradicate any female who even looks their man (or pretend man’s) way. Maybe your relationship isn’t even really worth it if you spend your free time lurking on girls’ Instagram photos to see if he’s liked their posts and spend the rest of your time starting drama. But hey, what do I know? All I know is I would appreciate it if you weirdos would leave me alone. This hasn’t happened to me in quite awhile, but I’m sure it will again. And I will tell you what I have told the others: “I have no interest in taken men, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from contacting me further and take this up with him; do not make your personal problems mine, thanks!” And that’s it. I’ve had them try to start arguments and that’s when I hit them with the good ol’ block. The ‘block’ feature is the best invention since caller ID. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Never in life will you get me to argue with you about some dusty dude who has clearly shown you he isn’t worth the dirt on the bottom of your shoe. I save petty arguments for the basic birds. The moral of the story is, if you find your bae in my inbox, go take it up with bae, and let me live in peace. Deal?

Bad Vibes & Toxic People

Vibes speak louder than words. That is a fact, my friend. I can’t stand being around negative people. We all have our bad days, but some people emit negative energy like they eat negativity for breakfast. Everything is a problem for them. This goes beyond minor annoyances like sitting in traffic, troublesome co-workers, or waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Life is out to get them and only them. I HATE IT. I seek peace; it has been in my nature since I could remember. If I can avoid having to deal with people who kill my vibe or contribute stress to my life, I do that. Isn’t it enough to constantly see news regarding mass shootings, missing airplanes, Donald Trump and all of the other sad stories we are exposed to on a daily basis? Stay away from me with your ‘woe is me’ dialogue, Debbie Downer. So what is it that makes some people drown in negativity? I contribute it to their thought process. We all see the world through our own lens, so if you see nothing positive in your life, it is impossible to see the good in life. Negative people spew their negative energy to everyone around them, bringing us all down. Misery loves company, but I am not bringing balloons and wine to your pity party. tumblr_nrgnbnrqy81qkvda9o1_500What people who complain constantly often don’t notice is that they are always complaining. Know someone like this? Bring it up to them and I bet they will look at you like you’re crazy. It has to be a miserable existence to wake up every morning on the defensive. Life is definitely not a cakewalk, but it is a gift. Nope, its not fair. “Fair” is a place where you go to get cotton candy and ride the twist-a-whirl or whatever it’s called. We should all be protective of the people that we surround ourselves with. You could constantly be surrounding yourself with toxic people and not even realize it until you do an audit of the people you associate with. What do your main associates really talk to you about?  Is it their personal problems, instead of their personal accomplishments? Do they ask you about what is going on with you, or are they using you as their personal sounding board to vent out all of their issues? Do the people you work with spend all their time complaining about your boss or other co-workers? You don’t have to listen to that sh*t. Maybe I am too much of an optimist, but I try to see the good in everything. Optimist, realist, or opportunist, negative people get on my nerves. All that being said, I just wanted to go over the handful of negative types that grind my gears the most. So let’s begin, *birdman hand rub.*

The Complainer

Complaining is just one of those things that human beings do. We all have the right to vent our frustrations. I complain often about stupid drivers, annoying clients at work, and just the everyday perils of life. Not even half an hour ago I was complaining to my mom about how I need a raise for how much my workload has increased over the last couple of weeks. I am a work in progress. I’m complaining in this post about how complainers annoy me (ironic, maybe)? Either way, my point is The Complainer finds fault in everything…literally everything. “I’m bored.” “This is stupid.” “I wish I had more money.” “They gave her the raise when I’m the one doing all the work.” SHUT UP! Did you ever stop and think that no one cares? Constant complaining without making any effort to improve your situation is nothing but whining. Being around people like this will start to bring you down. If you cannot be positive, do us all a favor and be quiet. It is stressful constantly listening to someone speak about the lack of control they seem to have over their own lives. It seems as if The Complainer appreciates nothing, but expects everything. This negativity spews onto everyone else, and begiphycause complaining often becomes a habit, they often don’t realize they are doing it. I feel my stress levels rise every time I listen to someone complain, try to offer a solution, but they brush it off as nonsense. Complaining is not just an act of observing your life/surroundings and voicing your views, it actually takes effort. When you complain, you invite negative thoughts to settle in your mind and end up attracting the very things you complain about back into your life. The Complainer isn’t a bad person, they’re just giving themselves a bad experience of life. Nothing is as bad as you make it seem. When I get in a bad mood and start being negative, I stop myself. It really only makes you feel worse. If you don’t know by now that complaining about things you can’t control is a total waste of time, now you know. If you’re complaining about things you CAN control, then it obviously isn’t bothering you that much because you would have done something to change the situation by now.

The Blamer

The Blamer can really kill your vibe. This type of person has an inability to take responsibility for their actions. Avoid people like this. Nothing is ever their fault, and they will show you time and time again why they cannot be trusted. Often full of excuses, The Blamer has a reason why they f*ck up everything, and its always because of someone or something else. “I would be farther ahead in life if I had this…” “My mom did this to me so now I can’t do this…” “If you would have reminded me, I could have finished it.” Know anyone like this? Remove them from your life. They are self-absorbed and cannot see past their own immaturity. At the end of the day, the only person responsible for your affairs is YOU. You can’t blame your plight in life on being Black, being a woman, or being whatever it is that is holding you back in your mind. Of course, there are legitimate reastumblr_m6sa8i80081qggwbio1_500ons why some people can’t do some things. I can’t sing, so there’s no way I can say I failed myself at not following my dream of being Beyonce. I can, however, pick up a book so the fact that I keep dragging my feet on applying to a graduate program is my own fault. The Blamer does not realize that in order to solve their problems, they have to own them. You can’t be afraid to confront your issues. Passing the buck is what children do because they are afraid of the consequences. What is sad is that when you spend all of your time placing blame on others, you lose opportunity after opportunity to change yourself and your circumstances. With anything, the hardest part is getting started. Pay closer attention to yourself and take note of every time you try to use others as a scapegoat for your own failings. You aren’t emotionally closed off because someone broke your heart and you’re not as a**hole because of it. You are those things because you choose to not confront your own insecurity. “The Man” isn’t holding you back; you’re just too lazy to get back up after you’ve been knocked down. If you are a blamer, do us all a favor and keep that behavior to yourself until you can reevaluate your life.

The Pessimist

The type of negative person that seems to bring me down the most is The Pessimist. Pessimistic people walk around with no hope, and make you feel crazy for seeing the good in any given situation. I would be miserable if every time I was confronted with a negative situation, I basically threw in the towel. What is life if you have no hope? You can be broke, living in the street but if you have even just a smidgen of hope, you’ll see it through. Sure, the night is dark and full of terrors (Game of Thrones reference in case you didn’t know), but why should the possibility of bad things happening keep you from being happy or taking chances? Any person with common sense is able to tell when something is a lost cause, but The Pessimist thinks anything with a chance of a failed outcome is a total waste of time. Hand a pessimist lemons to make lemonade, and they will say what’s the point without any sugar and water? As I said previously, I prefer to be calm and peaceful, but people with this mentality make me want to slap the taste outta their mouth. I can’t be around them. Even if being optimistic doesn’t do much more for you than being tumblr_n308ga30zk1s4xucdo1_500pessimistic, at least you’ll be happier while everything is falling apart. You absolutely have to change your perspective if you don’t want to be miserable. Negative people like this think that having low expectations will save them from pain and disappointment, but that’s not true. You’re just wasting your existence. Wake up, Eeyore. Having low expectations won’t save you, its just going to bring more negativity into your life. Its a vicious cycle. You think your shitty attitude proves you right everything something bad happens, but bad things keep happening to you because that is the energy you are emitting. You might as well walk around with a “My Life Sucks” target on your head, because bad things are going to keep coming your way, pessimist. Change your perspective. I am sure that it is difficult to kick out years and years of negative thought patterns from your mind, but it is possible. Perception is reality. If you perceive things as being good, good things will come to you. It may seem silly, but it really is true. Try it out and see how your life starts to adjust accordingly. Its the least you can do so that you can stop torturing we positive folk in the meantime. Change your thoughts and thank me later.

 

 

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I always think about what I would have done differently with my life if I could go back in time. I compiled a list of things I wish I had lived by as a kid, teen, even just a few years younger than I am now. Many I’m still working on! Maybe you can relate. Anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self? Add it in the comments section below.
  1. You do not know everything. No matter how sure of yourself you think you are. Always be able to listen.
  2. Which means… listen to your parents. They know what they’re talking about. Just because it seemed like they were your age a million years ago, times change but people don’t.
  3. College isn’t the only way to success. My entire younger life I was encouraged that college was the way to the top. I’m doing well, but there are other avenues to success.
  4. Stand up for yourself and make it a habit early. If you spend your whole life appeasing other people, you’ll be miserable. Sometimes you’ve gotta be a jerk and that’s okay.
  5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. If you don’t feel accepted, it doesn’t mean you are lacking in any way. They just haven’t caught up to you yet.
  6. Don’t force yourself to like something just because everyone else seems to like it.
  7. Comparing yourself to others is dangerous. Unless you’re using it as motivation, stop the comparisons.
  8. Not everything that glitters is gold. People tend to show only the good going on in their lives. They could be miserable behind closed doors.
  9. Stop caring what people think. It isn’t a change that can happen overnight. It takes time. Once you start getting good at it, you will be MUCH happier. Let them think what they want. You know who you are.
  10. Drink more water.
  11. Enjoy the time you have as a kid. Being a grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t take for granted nap times, recess, and getting toys for Christmas. The majority of your life will be spent dealing with adult things, so don’t say “I can’t wait until I’m older.”
  12. Take more advantage of your college experience. Do more than go to class, go to an event here and there and go home. Join more clubs, meet more people.
  13. You have time for serious relationships later. Learn more about yourself.
  14. Don’t be so frivolous with money. Save more. Learn about ways to make your money work for you and stick to it. Discipline!
  15. Exercise more.
  16. Be yourself. If people think you’re weird, so? You’re living for you. They don’t pay your bills.
  17. If you aren’t comfortable having to own up to it later, don’t do it.
  18. Don’t engage in social media drama.
  19. If you feel like you’re forcing it, leave it alone. Nothing forced is meant to work out.
  20. Choose friends who you can learn from and based off their character, not just who you can have a good time with. People only good for hanging out aren’t actually friends of yours.
  21. Learn what it actually means to “love yourself” then go love yourself.
  22. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re smart enough to know when things will work out better if you seek assistance.
  23. Be kind to yourself. We have the tendency to beat ourselves up.
  24. Don’t waste people’s time asking for advice that you never intend to follow.
  25. Take accountability.
  26. Don’t allow shyness to get in the way of having fun. Work on becoming a little more outgoing each day.
  27. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Make an effort.
  28. We were not given a spirit of fear. Don’t let fear of failure cripple you.
  29. If you want to try something, don’t give up on it because someone thinks its a bad idea. If you’ve thought it through, go for it; if you fail, its not the end of the world.
  30. Get used to double standards. They aren’t fair but it is what it is.
  31. Remember you were made with a purpose and God didn’t design you to fail.
  32. Spend more time with your parents.
  33. Distance yourself from negativity as much as you can. You do not have to deal with that.
  34. Try new things more often. We all need hobbies and could have hidden talents.
  35. Volunteer more.
  36. Its better to have peace and be wrong than cause conflict just for the sake of being right.
  37. Be on time.
  38. Let things go. Holding grudges hurts you. Ever heard that old saying “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” ? Yeah, don’t do that.
  39. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ if you want to.
  40. Procrastination can be deadly.
  41. If someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. We’re not meant to all like each other.
  42. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll learn more and won’t have to assume. People won’t think you’re as annoying as you might feel.
  43. Don’t run marathons for people who wouldn’t walk a mile for you.
  44. You’re going to get talked about. Ignore it.
  45. The actions of others can rub off on you so watch the company you keep.
  46. Sometimes you have to accept that you won’t get closure or any apologies. Don’t worry, the world will keep spinning and you will be fine.
  47. People aren’t mind readers. Communicate what you want and what you are feeling.
  48. Don’t be passive aggressive.
  49. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
  50. Ignoring red flags means you haven’t really learned your lesson. If you are wondering why you keep going through the same circumstances with different people, this is why.
  51. Travel.
  52. Try to spend your money on experiences rather than things. Memories last longer.
  53. Never call yourself stupid.
  54. If the people you trust are telling you someone isn’t right for you, listen. Everybody can’t be wrong.
  55. Don’t believe all the “love hurts” hype. Love isn’t supposed to hurt. Suffering is found nowhere in the definition of love.
  56. Yes, you will find someone else like “him.”
  57. Words matter, but actions tell you everything. This will never not be the case. Believe what they show you.
  58. You can miss someone from afar. Don’t hold on to people who aren’t good for you. You’ll get over it.
  59. Don’t take anybody’s sh*t.
  60. Just because someone is nice doesn’t mean you have to give them a chance. There are plenty of nice people in the world who you will like better and/or be more compatible with.
  61. Listen to your instincts.
  62. Snooping through other people’s things is never a good idea.
  63. Don’t be surprised if you end up working in a field you never imagined.
  64. You will lose and gain friends as you get older.
  65. Worrying is pointless. Its like walking around with an umbrella everyday waiting on it to rain. No point in stressing over what you can’t control.
  66. Life is going to get monotonous and sometimes you will feel stagnant.
  67. You’ll want revenge when people wrong you but you can’t get back at someone who doesn’t care. Let it go.
  68. Tell people you love them more often.
  69. Sometimes none of the choices you have aren’t good ones. Make the best choice you can and let God handle the rest.
  70. Cliche sayings like “be the energy you wish to attract” are true. Positive energy will attract more positive energy. Negativity is a repellent.
  71. Saying ‘thank you’ can go a long way.
  72. You can’t expect people to treat you well because you would do the same for them. Still be kind though.
  73. It’s better to just rip the band-aid off a difficult situation instead of pulling it off slowly. That hurts way more in the long run.
  74. If someone keeps doing something that bothers you, let them know.
  75. Don’t feel bad if you’re a little selfish from time to time.
  76. Every now and then you’re gonna take an L. You’ll bounce back.
  77. Pay all of your bills on time if you can.
  78. Pick your battles. Know when you need to stand up for yourself and what you can let slide.
  79. Talk to yourself how you would talk to a friend or family member. The voice inside our own heads can be cruel at times.
  80. Use your imagination more.
  81. Don’t be afraid to disagree and share your opinions.
  82. You can make all the plans in the world and the majority of them aren’t going to work out. Keep trying.
  83. Don’t let being tired stop you from living life.
  84. Take your health seriously.
  85. Become a good listener. You can learn a lot by figuring out what people mean beneath the surface of what they say.
  86. Having the last word is overrated.
  87. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
  88. People can only see things from their level of perception. Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to them, hoping they will understand you.
  89. If you feel anything but indifference towards a situation, you’re not over it.
  90. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. What can someone do with a meaningless apology, anyway?
  91. Laugh more often.
  92. Giving yourself pep talks in the mirror actually does help your self-esteem over time.
  93. Your mom is always right.
  94. Be surprised when life IS fair, instead of when it isn’t.
  95. Practice being a leader.
  96. Don’t chase things. There is a difference between pursuing something worthwhile and not knowing when to give up on a lost cause.
  97. Don’t hold on to things you don’t need.
  98. Try not to be so self-conscious over your body and looks. Love your flaws and focus more on your character.
  99. Prayer works.
  100. Toot your own horn sometimes. Don’t wait on others to give you the props and recognition you deserve.

The Crazy Ex Who Won’t Let Go

“Do you really want this to be over?” he asked. “Yes, I really do,” I said. “You don’t mean that,” and he continued to eat his cereal and flip through the TV channels. This was the exact conversation I had some years back with my ex as we sat in my apartment one lovely summer afternoon. I had always thought he was crazy, but this really put some fear into my heart. I sat on my couch and was truly perplexed. How am I going to get this man out of my apartment? For the next couple of weeks he acted like nothing was wrong. Eventually I got him out, and it wasn’t pretty. After it all went down, I left for a few days and returned to my apartment to find out that he had been lying in my bed, smelling my underwear, writing notes to me, and had scattered photos of us across the apartment. There were roses on the table and tension in the air. I ended up moving out of there, and the weeks that followed were filled with calls upon calls, 1,000 word Facebook messages and protection orders. This was an extreme case, but many of us have a story about the ex boyfriend/girlfriend that turned obsessive and would not leave you alone. Life seems to be pretty peaceful. You’re in a new relationship or happily doing your own thing, and then the Ghost of Boyfriends Past somehow finds a way to poke his head through the fence and starts haunting your life. Rarely do these people come back in over time. They come back full force, like they had never left. I have noticed that most people who won’t seem to let you live in peace are never too far away. These days there are too many ways to contact someone for them to truly disappear. Your family and friends have suggestions. “tumblr_nz285roxcy1qc5i9so1_500Block their number!” Tried that. “Delete them from your Facebook!” Tried that. In my experience, these are short term solutions. They always pop up with new numbers and social media pages just to get on your nerves. At times I feel like I am destined to be haunted by these couple of people who just won’t let go. If you have ever gone through anything like this, you know exactly what Destiny’s Child was singing about in “Bug-A-Boo.” Nothing is worse than running into this crazy person and having nowhere to hide. Seeing you face to face must trigger some strong feelings of nostalgia and will be all it takes for them to start trying to railroad you with texts and calls. I have noticed that old flames seem to be quite arrogant. They expect you to say that you have missed them too or that you think of them every now and then. Say that you don’t and they act like they don’t believe you. I don’t want to reminisce about how much my mom used to like you, I don’t want to remember the time you bought me that necklace, and no, I do not want you back. Just recently my sister group texted me, our mom and other sister because her ex (who is in Korea, mind you) called three different locations of her job looking for her. His logic? He missed her and that he knows she still has a little love left for him somewhere in her heart. They’ve been broken up for almost a year. I think that love ship has sailed.

So Why Can’t Some People Let Go?

While I am in the midst of being annoyed by someone, the main thing that I want to know is ‘why won’t you leave me alone?!’ These are people who have been out of my life for awhile, but if you are fresh out of a breakup and someone can’t seem to let go, try not to be so hard on them. Being broken up with is a grieving process and people handle grief differently. This isn’t to say that you have to hold their hand in getting over you, that’s counterproductive. Just establish boundaries. I don’t have the blueprint for how to do it, just make sure you aren’t giving them false hope. The best thing you can do for both parties is to make it clear that just because you can be amicable does not mean you are interested in working things out. I was never interested in being amicable with people after I had kicked them to the curb, and I made that known. Sadly, some people have no respect for your personal boundaries. They are doing whatever will make them feel better with no regard for your peace of mind. They could be fueled by sadness, regret, or spite. If they aren’t going to be happy, then neither are you. If they are feeling despair, they want you to know how deep their sadness lies. No one is going to take you back out of pity. Why would you want that anyway? Talk about damaged pride. Now if someone has been out of your life for a reasonable amount of time and suddenly here they come, they are bored. Many women have that “they always come back” attitude like they’ve got the juice other women don’t have. That really has nothing to do with it. An old flame or ex boyfriend 9c88c84d42861ae52b5c840e7d47991fthat decides he wants to shoot the breeze with you out of nowhere is not looking to sweep you off of your feet again. More than likely he has become newly single or his roster has hit a dry spell. Men like to come back to what is familiar. This isn’t a case of the struggling ex who cannot seem to let you go. I notice that many women get an ego boost out of the amount of men who attempt to come back into their lives. Don’t be flattered. He has probably contacted five other women he used to be involved with in the same week he was liking your Instagram picture. Women do it too. I see guys complain all the time about various women texting them “hey stranger” when they haven’t heard from these women in months. What do you want now all of a sudden? Our own arrogance likes to allow us to flatter ourselves into thinking we are these irresistible creatures that no one can stay away from for too long. Whether it is the ex calling you crying to Marvin’s Room or the old friend with benefits who is popping up, you’ve got to ask yourself, do you like the attention? Many people fake complain about being irritated by the constant stream of texts and calls they get but they fail to mention that they are the ones adding fuel to the fire.

Let’s Face It, You Like The Attention

It is okay to admit you like to feel wanted. The ego stroke feels nice. You’re not fooling anyone though. Most people give up on contacting you after awhile if they do not get a response. Unless you’re dealing with Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, your hotline is not going to keep blinging with your suitors begging for an ounce of your attention. If you want peace, stop feeding into these people. Lovers from the past are like stray cats. Give them a bowl of milk one night because you feel bad for them and they will be scratching at your door every night. How are you going to call the cat thirsty just because every time it asks, you give it what it wants? You are an enabler. I have another ex who actually just sent me a friend request on Facebook while I was working on this post. This guy was after underwear sniffing ex (I had a pattern of attracting crazy people for awhile) and for the past four years, he has been texting/calling me from different numbers, running up on me at the club, trying to add me on social media, etc. For awhile, I used to respond to his texts. I thought he just couldn’t let me go. Now I know he is just an irrational human being. I haven’t responded to his messages for a very, very long time yet he won’t go away completely. That type of attention gets old very fast. Even though I still hgiphyear from him every now and then, once I stopped replying, the communication decreased significantly. Sometimes, people will pop back into your life and will genuinely just want to know how you’re doing. Should you respond and risk your phone getting blown up from that point into the near future? You can take the risk, but not everyone is in stalker mode. I think our egos can have us thinking that just because you get a text that says “hey, you crossed my mind when this song came on, just wanted to say hello,” that they want you back. Not always the case. People are capable of maturing and being genuine in their interactions. Don’t go text your best friend complaining to her about why you can’t figure out why these guys just won’t leave you alone. We have extreme cases like the ones I have mentioned and we have basic cases of if you keep giving a dog a bone, the dog will keep coming back for more bones. My sisters and I joke all the time about how “they” always end up coming back in some shape or form, but we are sensible enough to know the logic behind it. It really isn’t all that personal. Everyone gets a kick out of nostalgia, and sometimes we just want those old feelings back.

Lemonade, Lies & Cheating

Ashes to ashes,  dust to side chicks”     -Beyonce

It usually all starts with a lurk. When I found out the person I was in a relationship with was talking to other girls on Facebook, I didn’t have any burning suspicions about it. I also didn’t expect to not find anything, but you know what they say happens when you go looking for trouble. I surely did find it. It wasn’t anything horrible, but I did find it highly inappropriate. The thoughts that came with finding out your significant other has been entertaining others are typical of what most people probably think when this happens. Feelings of inadequacy; what did I do wrong or what did I not do altogether? Is it my looks, is she smarter than me? Funnier, maybe? I eventually let it go and we moved past it, but I never trusted him again. Whenever he would be on his phone laughing about something, my side eye game grew stronger. Now that Beyonce has released the masterpiece that is Lemonade, talks of infidelity have been stronger than ever. Whether the album is themed around Jay Z’s cheating or not, it has sparked some interesting conversation. Of course all relationships come with problems, but to get such an intimate view tumblr_o6as866jc31r4poono1_500into a relationship that many thought was unbreakable put a little fear into the hearts of couples everywhere. Looks like Hov and Bey aren’t the #Goals everyone thought them to be. So where does that leave us regular folk? If someone so beautiful, ridiculously talented and famous can get cheated on, are any of us safe? Our generation already has very low levels of trust in the opposite sex. Most people expect to be deceived, so when it happens they just shrug it off. Side chicks don’t hide anymore, and popular music constantly reminds us that no one is to be trusted. Despite my bad experiences, I have not allowed myself to become jaded to the concept of love and relationships. Not everyone has bad intentions, and when a person cheats, it usually is not because of the other person’s inadequacies. This was a very important lesson I have had to learn in my early 20’s. People aren’t against you, they’re just for themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to tolerate disrespect, but it will help you from blaming yourself in case you ever end up the victim of a cheater. If you’ve ever cheated, why did you do it? Were you not feeling fulfilled in your relationship or were you just fueled by lust? Is it worse when women cheat? Many men say that women cheating is worse due to the emotional aspect of it, as opposed to men who cheat out of excitement. Of course women cheat for physical reasons at times as well, and men are capable of forming emotional bonds while sampling other appetizers. So who cheats more often? FullSizeRenderIs it that men cheat more, or is that women just hide things better? We all know men are generally terrible liars. When it comes to the little details, they leave loose ends and that is usually how they get caught up. Women are much more methodical. We forget nothing, and because of our tendencies to overthink, if we’ve plotted a lie, there are probably about 10 backup lies to cover our bases. Kind of twisted isn’t it? A woman who is a good liar has probably been cheating for months, maybe even years before she gets caught. According to this site, women cheat just as much as men do. The reasons differ, but the rate is about the same. Since each sex gets stepped out on as much as the other, why do men have such a hard time bouncing back after they’ve been betrayed? They will forever have “trust issues” and be emotionally unavailable because their high school girlfriend cheated with his next door neighbor. I’ve heard plenty of theories regarding this. The most common one is that men love harder than women because they are more selective about who they choose to open up to. So you put yourself out there and got stepped on; I think its time to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.

Why Did He Do This To Me?

The thing someone wants to know most of all when they’ve been betrayed is, “why.” I always thought this was intriguing because does it really matter why? If your boyfriend has been cheating on you, would the logic behind it help you sleep better at night? I think it would make you feel much worse to hear “I’ve been stepping out because you’re boring as f*ck and this is getting old.” Usually, cheating does not indicate a lack of love. It is more of a lack of respect and/or discipline. A relationship may be lacking fun, passion, sexual gratification, etc. or as Kanye said, someone may just be unable to stay faithful in a room full of hoes. Human beings are selfish by nature. The majority of our thoughts are motivated by ‘self.’ When I was 21 and in a relationship, from time to time I would text and flirt with other guys every now and then. I was bored, and I’ve since matured, but in the moment I wasn’t thinking about how my significant other would feel. I also didn’t like him any less just because I was exchanging heart eye emojis with other guys. I was just motivated by my own desires and failed to think how this would affect him if he were to find out. This is how cheaters operate. Unless you’re being petty antumblr_ndehti0ip61qgm5xfo1_500d seeking revenge, you turn off the loyalty switch in your mind. When Jay Z was out with Becky With The Good Hair, he wasn’t thinking about how beautiful, loyal and kind his wife and mother of his child is. The novelty of someone new is intoxicating to some people, and they’re willing to risk it all for a little excitement. For some people, they aren’t sure what counts as cheating and what doesn’t. Some people are ready to slash tires over liking Instagram pictures, others won’t see an issue until you’re meeting up and/or being physical. First of all, boundaries should be established in your relationship so you should know what’s inappropriate. Liking IG photos is extreme, but a good rule to go by is if you feel you need to hide it, you shouldn’t be doing it. No one can read minds and none of us have the power to control other people, so stressing yourself out over the where, when, why and how’s your love cheated on you will just frustrate you even more. Their bad decisions are not a reflection of you. It does not make it okay, but don’t lose sleep at night thinking that their infidelity is your fault. Loyalty is an expectation, but definitely not a guarantee.

Second Chances?

So they cheated, and you decided to stay. People love to judge those who forgive cheaters and take them back. This isn’t the first time there have been rumors of Jay not being faithful to Bey, yet she chooses to stick around and work on her family. It is easy for someone on the outside looking in to call another woman stupid or weak for not kicking a cheating man to the curb, but we don’t know the uniqueness of every situation. It really isn’t anyone’s business why you decide to forgive, but I do not think it is wise to just blindly forgive and forget without going deeper. I said above that the ‘why’ does not matter, but that is on a surface level. It is not as simple as she’s prettier or has a better body. People, men in particular, will cheat with a woman who looks like a gremlin. If it were based purely off attraction, no human being on Earth would be able to be monogamous. When my now ex-boyfriend was flirting on Facebook, I was too immature and inexperienced at the time to attempt to get a better understanding of his actions outside of “why are you talking to other girls?!” Looking back on it, I should have been more focused on where the lack of discipline was coming from. “I don’t know why, I just do it” is not an answer. It is an example of how some people are unable to communicate their motives, or they are not courageous enough to be honest. When this topic comes up,
tumblr_o6ax5w2v511tfbqd3o1_540I always think back to the scene in Baby Boy where Yvette is trying to get Jody to explain to her why he cheats. His attempt at honesty was futile, and he basically just told her to deal with it or kick rocks. If your significant other is unable or unwilling to be totally open and honest with you about their actions, I don’t think they are worthy of forgiveness. You have to be real with yourself in order to be real with others. Unless you lack relationship experience or life experience altogether, you have got to be mature and strong enough to hold people accountable for their actions. You can’t get mad at Becky With The Good Hair. She owes you no loyalty. The person who agreed to be exclusive with you is responsible. Who cares if she knew that was your man? All is fair in love and war. Things happen, and people sometimes do things they regret. At the end of the day, we’re all human. If you have cheated or are currently cheating, you’re not a horrible person. People make mistakes, but if you’re willing to take those risks, you have to be able to accept the consequences. If you are the person who is currently pulling the knife out of your back, only you can decide how you want to proceed. If you would rather put all his stuff in the box to the left, nothing is wrong with that. If you’re working it out, do it in a way that is most conducive to long-term success. Sweeping things under the rug because they gave you a weak “sorry, I won’t hurt you again” is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Once someone sees you let everything slide, they’ll start figure skating. If you are starting to get to second, third, and fourth chances, it is probably time to accept that this person is incapable of being the partner you deserve. You can forgive from a distance and move on with your life. The beautiful thing about life is that you are in control of it. If you want to reconcile, reconcile. Don’t let the opinions of your friends and family get in the way of what you believe is your happiness. Just also be willing to accept responsibility for the downfall if things do not work out the way you had hoped. Trust your instincts and stand your ground. It will work in your favor every time.

It Doesn’t Cost $200 To Date Me

“Chicken wings and fries, we don’t go on dates” -Future

If you are familiar with Twitter, at some point you have surely seen the debate on the $200 date. I have no idea where the notion that a proper date is at least $200 originated from, but apparently if you can’t afford to take a woman on a $200 date you’re broke, and if a man has never dropped that much money on you during a date, you aren’t worth the investment. During my time on Twitter, I have never seen the logic behind this dollar amount, but I have deduced that a fancy dinner and drinks at a commendable restaurant adds up to about this much. Dating is not just a black and white process, so you cannot realistically place a dollar value on a date. It will all depend on the area you live in and what you choose to do. With house dates becoming so popular, I have been amazed that this is even a topic of discussion since so many women are content with Netflix and Chill. I have been on cheap dates where wtumblr_nl27yzhfpq1spnc0yo1_500e have done simple things such as go-karts and grabbing a bite and had an amazing time. I’ve been on fancy dinners where even the taste of a $50 steak couldn’t stop me from being bored to tears over how dull he was. An expensive dinner can’t make up for a lack of chemistry, so I cut ties and decided not to talk to this person again. Go Kart guy and I went on to have more fun together and he spent much less than $200. So how do we find the happy medium between $200 dates and Netflix and Chill? Does a man see you as less valuable if he invites you over to his house instead of the Metropolitan Grill? I would say no. At the end of the day its a tactic to get into your pants, some just put more effort into it than others. Of course as a man gets to know you and likes your personality he will want more than sex, but we can be realistic and accept the fact that men are creatures of conquest. Does it cost $200 to date me? Absolutely not. Will I go over to your house to eat Pizza Hut and watch reruns of House of Cards? There is a better chance of it snowing in hell. With that being said, lets break down the cost of what I feel is a reasonable date.

A Date With Me

First things first, I enjoy food. Going to dinner is a great chance to have a conversation with a person. You can obtain information that is important to you, like their occupation, how they treat the server, etc. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star seafood restaurant, but I’m also not going to Popeye’s. Let’s say we end up at The Cheesecake Factory. The food is pretty good, not too expensive, and it is close to where our next activity will take place. I place my order, he places his:

  • 2 beverages – $20
  • 2 entrees – Pasta for me, ribs for him – $48
  • 1 slice of cheesecake – $8
  • Tip – $15

Total for dinner = $91

We both enjoy live music, and not too far away there is an outdoor concert. The only cost is a small donation for whatever charitable cause they are performing for. I throw in my own $5, he puts in $5. Boom. There is a date for under $200. For $96, I have enjoyed great conversation, had a good dinner and an activity was included that barely cost any extra money. All it takes to have a great date is some creativity and effort. The dinner scenario was just an example. There are plenty of things two people can do together than can cost a
lot less than a $96 dinner. Dinner and movie dates may be cliche, but it is important to choose something that allows you to see how a person is when they are out of the comfort of their own home. If a man wants to take you to see a Broadway show and follow it up
tumblr_ng2fr8cycl1su7a71o1_500with lobster tails, there is nothing wrong with that. If instead he suggests something that involves barely $5, like a hike followed up with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop, the important part is that someone is willing to put in the effort to create a bonding experience with you. If you like someone, how can you truly get to know them if you don’t ever do anything but sit in their house and watch movies? You’ll end up moving too fast and everything will fizzle out before it even gets a chance to get started. Don’t sell yourself short. I have seen tweets that say things like “girls expect $200 dates but aren’t even worth Burger King.” Whether you agree with the concept of a $200 date or not, every woman is worth being shown effort. Don’t fall into the Twitter propaganda of settling for McDonald’s and Redbox because you’ve been made to feel bad for expecting a real date.

Why Don’t Men Want To Date?

To be real, I can see why a lot of men these days are unwilling or skeptical to take women out on dates. Why would you fill your car up with gas, put on nice clothes, pick her up, pay for a dinner, then have no guarantee of a reward at the end when you could call over 1 of many options who would drive to your house, have drinks, maybe even bring you food, then give you a happy ending? That’s like going to Pizza Hut to pick up your pizza when instead you could have all the goods delivered right to your door. Men are winning nowadays. So many women are so thirsty for attention they will accept house dates when they know they want to be taken out and treated like the queen that they are. In a nutshell, men have been spoiled. For arguments sake, lets say Brian has met two women this week. Cassie is smart, pretty and seems to have standards. Nina seems to be a lot of fun, looks average, but they seem to get along pretty well. He currently has Adriana on the back-burner for when none of his more appealing options seem to be cooperating. It’s Friday night, and Brian is bored. What better to do than to call up one of these new ladies he has had his eye on? Cassie is busy, he doesn’t feel like dealing witdateh the complaints of Adriana tonight, so he calls up Nina. She is excited to hear from him, and suggests that they check out a happy hour near her place and maybe catch a movie. Brian does the math in his head. Drive to her area, pay for the movies, happy hour and movie snacks. He thinks “I just met her, do I really want to be spending money on someone I might not even like after its over? Nope!” Brian does what these new age savvy guys do and says “I’m pretty tired from work, but I’ve been wanting to see you. You should come to my place and watch (insert popular show) you said that you liked and we can have drinks here. I can pick up the Crown Apple you said you liked.” In the mind of a girl desperate for attention, this doesn’t seem like a bad trade off. She agrees, and Brian has just gotten everything that he wanted and all he had to do was stay on the phone for 90 seconds. Nina begins to like Brian and he thinks she’s cool to keep around, but he now knows that she will lower her standards for sweet talk, so from here on out all she gets is house dates and cold Crown Royal Apple. Soon, Brian will meet someone who won’t settle for cold pizza, and Nina will be pushed out the door. Men respect standards. The good thing is that there are still plenty of men willing to date. Just don’t be surprised if they try you with the basic chick act first. If I was a man, I probably would. If Future is telling me you can still get what you want by giving women chicken wings and fries, I’m gonna offer you chicken wings and fries.

Men-Get Creative!

Some men are intimidated with the art of dating because of the monetary importance that is placed upon it. If you are in college and you are being asked out, it is silly to expect a young college student to have fancy date money. If you are talking to a man who has a moderate income, don’t offend him by turning your nose up at his suggestion of doing something that doesn’t cost a lot. As I’ve said previously, the most important thing is that a person is puttingnf and cill in effort. That doesn’t mean you are expected to pay for your own meal on the first date, but keep things in perspective. Is he making time for you and showing interest? During the date, did he pay attention to the little things like opening your doors and making sure you got home safely? If you’re dating someone just to see how deep their pockets go, you have a totally different objective. The point should be to create a bonding experience with someone to see how compatible you may be. If you have no idea how to date on a budget, check out Pinterest. You can find plenty of cheap date ideas on there. Picnics, hikes, paint nights, carnivals/fairs, there are plenty of things you can do that will not make you go broke.There really is no excuse for accepting little to no effort from the person you are interested in. Dating is an investment of your time and energy. If you spend your time and energy sewing seeds of nothingness, you are going to get nothing in return. Realistically, dating costs money. If you are involved with a man who doesn’t even have the money to take you to see The Revenant, he clearly can’t afford to date. Men may ask you to come over and chill because it’s easy, but it also may be because they are struggling financially. This is when you have to start analyzing behavior. Sure, the funds may be low, but this is when you have the opportunity to get creative. If someone is really interested in you, time, money, or Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall can’t keep them away. Your company is priceless, so don’t be afraid to make your expectations known. If they flake on you or make you feel bad for having standards, they are simply not the person for you. No, you will not cook for him. No, you will not check out his favorite show on Hulu, but yes you will accept his offer to treat you like the queen that you are. Fellas, you can date on a budget! Don’t be discouraged. Is there a special lady you’ve had your eye on but student loans or a low paying job is holding you back? Here is your answer:

The Trendy Picnic

I am not the only woman who loves to eat. When a woman gets asked out, her mind usually has visions of sitting down at a restaurant. Well, you might not have restaurant money. Plan a picnic! Here is how to look like you’ve gone all out without having to make a payment arrangement with AT&T next week.

date idea

  • Step 1: Check the weather and choose a location that you know won’t be overly crowded. Try to have a nice view. You’ll be able to converse and enjoy your food without distractions. Don’t forget a nice blanket and appropriate utensils. Borrow it all from your mom.
    • Cost – $0
  • Step 2: Figure out what she likes to eat. You don’t have to eat turkey sandwiches just because its a picnic. You don’t even have to know how to cook. Go to Costco and pick up a small meat platter, pasta salad, fruit, cheeses, something to drink and a few chocolates.
    • Cost – ~approx $30, maybe less
  • Step 3: Bring music to set a nice mood. Bring a game you both likes, like dominoes, cards, etc. One great way to gain insight to a person without feeling weird is to bring The Book of Questions. It’s very engaging and interesting. You can order it on Amazon. You still get to eat, enjoy her company, and learn about each other.
    • Cost – $8.95 for the book

Total for your date: approximately $38.95

Not only did you just do the smart thing by not putting yourself in a tough spot by shelling out money you don’t have, I can guarantee that you have impressed this woman. You didn’t take her back to the same old place she’s been 100 times, you stepped outside of the box. This has shown that you know how to plan, be creative, and engage a person without feeling inadequate because you are not making six figures.